WOODBURY, N.Y., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The got breakfast?® Foundation last week awarded the San Diego Unified School District one of eight Silent Hero grants that recognize, encourage and reward those silent heroes who help children by participating in the national School Breakfast Program. The $10,000 award will be used to expand the district's successful Breakfast in the Classroom program.
Currently, the district has Breakfast in the Classroom at 43 schools and will now be able to add more schools. "At Rosa Parks Elementary School we know that hundreds of food-insecure children are not currently getting an adequate breakfast," says grant recipient Gary Petill, Food Services Director for the San Diego Unified School District.
"Nearly all these children eat lunch at school every day but only about one-third of them eat breakfast," explains Petill. "The grant money will help us implement Breakfast in the Classroom in this school where 98% of our students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals."
The district has already prepared its Breakfast in the Classroom Training Manual that includes materials for every step of the process, such as a video, PowerPoint, in-service programs, Plans for a Clean Classroom -- even breakfast sheriff badges for students.
"We were impressed by the creativity, thoroughness and proven success of San Diego's Breakfast in the Classroom program," says Sonya Kaster, R.D., L.D.N., S.N.S., Grant Administrator for the Silent Hero Program. "The future of school breakfast is in the classroom and this district is an exemplary model for other schools."
All eight of the Silent Hero grant winners will be implementing breakfast in the classroom. According to the Food Research and Action Center's School Breakfast Scorecard for 2008-2009, districts using breakfast in the classroom have the highest participation rates.
The got breakfast? Foundation received many applications representing school districts from 33 different states requesting more than $2 million in funding. The winners were each awarded a grant ranging from $2,500 to $10,000.
The Silent Hero Grant Program was created to encourage schools and non-profit organizations to expand the reach of underutilized child nutrition programs, most notably the School Breakfast Program. While 19 million low income children participate in the National School Lunch Program each day, only 9 million participate in the School Breakfast Program.
"We launched the Silent Hero Grant Program in the hopes of it acting as a catalyst for schools to give classroom and/or alternate site breakfast a try," says Kaster. "I think the number of proposals we received is indicative of the untapped potential that can make a difference in the lives of hungry school children."
The got breakfast?® Foundation will soon be announcing a Summer Meals Grant Program that will support breakfast programs during the summer months.
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